At this page you will find a list of frequently asked questions from our customers. Do you have another question? Ask it!
FAQ – A list of frequently asked questions
Can I get more spasms from using FES?
Most people report a decrease in spasms after starting training with FES. The remaining spasms are often experienced as more intense because the muscles have become stronger as a result of the exercise. However, it is difficult to make predictions in advance due to individual differences.
Can I use the FES box as a standalone stimulator?
Yes, some customers use our functional electrical stimulation system as a stand-alone stimulator. For instance, one of our customers uses the FES-Box to exercise his abdominal muscles. Others exercise several muscles simultaneously while lying in bed.
I have a high cervical spinal cord lesion. Can I still use the BerkelBike?
In general, there should be no problem using our products if a user has a complete lesion at C5 or lower. However, even if the injury lies above C5, there are still different possibilities to involve the arms into the movement. Additionally, many of the functions of the bicycle can be controlled by chin/head. A second option would be the EasyLegs with an electric pedal assist; this can also be equipped with our FES-Box. To find out what is possible in your particular situation, please contact us and make an appointment.
CAN I TEST MY NERVES TO FIND OUT IF I AM SUITABLE FOR FES?
Yes, this is possible. When there is doubt about the functioning of the nerves, this can be tested. The muscles to be tested are the hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteus maximus. Almost every physical therapist should be able to perform this test.
Electrical stimulation equipment with the following settings is used for this purpose:
Biphasic block pulse
Pulse duration 0.3 ms per phase
The client must be able to endure at least 40 mA easily. However, this does not have to apply to all muscles. The FES equipment can be adjusted per muscle. There must be something of a contraction noticeable or there must have been spasms (now or in the past). Individuals who have no flaccid paralysis but very few spasms react very weakly to the stimulation the first time. However, this will improve by training more often with the FES Stimulator.
If you have any doubts about the suitability, please contact BerkelBike directly.
Is it possible to stimulate each leg on its own in the case of an incomplete spinal cord lesion?
Yes it is. Electrical stimulation is programmable for each group of muscles individually. So if you have a leg with more sensory activity it is possible to reduce stimulation or even to switch off any stimulation.
Which wheelchairs do qualify to be connected to a BerkelBike Connect?
Most wheelchairs are suitable for use in combination with the BerkelBike Connect. However, there are some things to keep in mind. First of all, we recommend a fixed-frame wheelchair, as this improves stability during cycling. It is possible to connect a folding wheelchair to a Connect, but it may not be as stable as a fixed frame wheelchair. It is also possible to attach a removable coupling system at an extra charge, so that you can remove the coupling from the wheelchair if you are not planning to ride the BerkelBike Connect at times.
If you are using electric wheels on your wheelchair, it is important to assure the presence of a freewheel on the wheels. This should be activated before starting to ride, otherwise the electric wheels will break.
Carbon wheelchairs can sometimes cause problems when installing the Connect coupling system, as it is not allowed to drill into carbon. It is also not possible to clamp anything to a carbon frame. For this reason we do not recommend the use of wheelchairs with carbon elements.
Finally, it should be noted that there are no protruding parts in the way at the point where the coupling system is to be mounted. In addition, the wheelchair should not have any crosses or objects under the wheelchair that could obstruct the connecting parts. Round tubes are preferable to oval tubes.
Note that protruding leg rests of the wheelchair may come into contact with the pedals if they are positioned too far outward.
My leg is amputated. Is the BerkelBike also suitable for me?
Yes, the BerkelBike can certainly be used by someone with an amputation. Previously, people with a (lower) leg amputation had to choose between a handcycle or a recumbent. With the BerkelBike you can combine the power of your arms and leg.
Are there smaller versions of the BerkelBike for children?
There are no special sizes for children thus far, however the Pro version is suitable for everyone with a height of at least 110cm. The height required for the Connect is dependent on your wheelchair, though the height requirement is generally higher than that of the Pro.
In this context, it is good to know that the BerkelBike and EasyLegs Pro can easily be upgraded to become a BerkelBike Connect later on. The only difference is a wheelchair adapter that can be purchased later on. Please contact us for your specific case.
How can I purchase BerkelBike products?
Our dealer in Australia is Recumbent & Specialised Cycling. Our dealer in New Zealand is Trikes New Zealand. Please contact them to buy our products. If there is no retailer nearby or the desired product isn’t available, it is possible to buy our products direct from BerkelBike BV in the Netherlands. Most of our products can easily be shipped to your door anywhere in the world. Contact us for more information.
What can the BerkelBike do for my disability?
The BerkelBike was developed for people with spinal cord injury. However, throughout the years, it became clear that people with many different disabilities can benefit from it. We have collected a lot of customer reviews in recent years.
Can I transport my Berkelbike or Easylegs in a car?
Yes! Both BerkelBike Pro and EasyLegs Pro can easily be taken apart without the need for any tools. Front and back parts are attached to each other with a quick-release clamp and a safety pin. The wheels are equipped with quick release locks. You just need to push a button, and you can take them off the bicycle. If you possess the electric pedal assist, the battery can also easily be detached to save some space.
Last but not least, the bikes are very light because the frame is made from T6 heat-treated aluminum 7005, which is also used for racing bikes.
Can I use the BerkelBike with fes without the help of others?
Almost all people with full arm function can use their BerkelBike with FES-Box without the assistance of others.